The energy that got the baby in is the same energy that will get the baby out.
— Ina May Gaskin, midwife & author

Today, in many parts of the world, the partner is welcomed to participate in the birth of a child.  When a couple has decided to have a doula present, she will take time prenatally to get to know them and develop a clear understanding of how intimately the partner wants to participate.  There are some who are nervous about the process and believe that their energy would not be supportive to their partner; they may feel that being less involved would be more helpful.  For others, it is culturally not acceptable to be present.  Yet, other partners might want to participate 150% and are right there in that birthing pool so that along with mama, they can be the first to touch their baby as s/he emerges from the womb.  

Doulas are trained to help you participate at your comfort level.  The continuous and calming presence of a doula allows the couple to experience the birth as fully as possible.  By allowing the doula to share in the intensity in case of a difficult, long or powerful labor, the woman and her partner have greater capacity to be there for each other in ways that are right for them.  

As her partner, you might feel that a doula could be an intrusive presence.  Perhaps you even worry that a doula would somehow replace you.  Rest assured, that couldn’t be farther from the truth.  You know her better than most.  You know what makes her laugh and what makes her cry.  You know her strengths and her weaknesses.  You know just how to get her focused and motivated.  You know her intimately.  You are irreplaceable!

I am there to simply hold space for both of you as you birth your baby in ways that you are comfortable with.  Providing continuity of care throughout shift changes and protecting the memory of the experience are two very important elements of what I do.  I strive to nourish and enhance the bond that created the miracle of your baby in the first place.

I could not have been as present and steady for my wife during the birth of our son,
were it not for the love and support we both received from Mary, our doula.
— Matthew, A first-time papa